Understanding Mordel: obtaining informed consent for trisomy screening

Understanding Mordel: obtaining informed consent for trisomy screening
Emyr Owain Wile, Alys Einion-Waller
British Journal of Midwifery, 2 February 2021; 29(2)
Abstract
The landmark decision of Montgomery has established that the patient’s right to self-determination and autonomy underpins the doctrine of informed consent. The case of Mordel threw into question the process of obtaining informed consent and whether it was being sufficiently secured in the context of Down’s syndrome screening. This case conveyed a paradigm shift to the role of the midwife and sonographers when obtaining consent for screening and the requisite legal standard of care they owe to expectant parents. However, many key issues remain unanswered from the decision in Mordel, in particular, what steps must healthcare professionals take to discharge their duty of care in the process of securing informed consent from expectant parents for screening.

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